April 17, 2014

Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling Bill

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The Vermont Senate has approved H.112, a bill to label GMO or GE foods, with a vote of 28 to 2. Tee bill now goes to the House for a final vote before it heads to the governor's desk. Governor Peter Shumlin has indicated he is likely to sign it, which would make Vermont the first state to require labeling of genetically engineered products. If the bill does become law, it would go into effect on July 1, 2016. While other states such as Maine have similar bills on the books, they also have trigger clauses, which means the law does not go into effect unless neighboring states pass labeling laws. Vermont Right to Know GMOs, a collaborative project of several consumer advocacy groups, approved the action. That group has submitted petitions to the government with more than 36,000 … [Read more...]

FDA Asked to Monitor False Industry Claims About GMO Salmon

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Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety asked FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to stop erroneous statements by AquaBounty Technologies. The company's vice present Henry Clifford told the press that the government will let the company sell its GMO salmon without a label to inform consumers. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said in a statement, "FDA's failure to take action on AquaBounty's blatant misrepresentation of the facts typifies the agency's entire hands-off regulatory review of GMO salmon. It also illustrates the dangerous level of miscommunication between FDA and AquaBounty that, historically, has caused the agency to overlook critical risks associated with GMO salmon." Environmental experts are concerned that the genetically engineered … [Read more...]

New Bill Would Repeal State GMO Labeling Laws

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A bill introduced in Congress yesterday would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sole authority to require labeling of genetically modified foods, overturning state laws that require such labeling.  The bill, introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo  (R-Kansas) and G. K. Butterfield  (D- North Carolina,) is named the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” (HR 4432) but has been quickly dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act by consumer groups.  The bill's authors say that genetically modified crops are safe, require less water and pesticides and can better feed the growing global population. They also maintain that such a law would spare farmers and other food producers the expense of complying with a patchwork of state laws that could mislead consumers and raise … [Read more...]

Survey Says: One in Three Farms Have GMO Contamination

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Food and Water Watch has conducted a survey with the Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing that shows contamination from GMO (GE) crops is happening and affecting organic produce. The survey asked farmers in 17 states, primarily the Midwest, about contamination of organic and non-GMO farm fields with GMO crops. The survey found that "the risks and effects of GMO contamination have unfairly burdened organic and non-GMO farmers with extra work, longer hours, and financial insecurity, which has led to a general skepticism of coexistence amongst the organic community. Some even expressed the feeling that their chosen method of production is being seriously threatened." GMO growers and producers aren't require to mitigate the risk of contamination. USDA Advisory Committee on … [Read more...]

Hawaii Community Defends Pesticide Disclosure Laws

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Multinational chemical corporations are challenging a law in Hawaii that requires disclosure of pesticide use on genetically engineered crops. The Center for Food Safety and a coalition of Kaua'i residents, along with Earthjustice, are filing papers as defendants against this action. Ordinance 960 informs Kaua'i residents about the pesticides applied to GE crops. Many residents have suffered symptoms of pesticide exposure. Corporations grow genetically engineered and modified crops on Kaua'i as experiments. As a result, some of the "most toxic pesticides still in use" are sprayed in areas close to homes, waterways, and schools on that island. The law simply requires disclosure of the chemicals used on the island, and establishes buffer zones around locations such as schools and … [Read more...]

GE Food Labeling Bill Introduced in California

GMOCorn

A new bill to label genetically engineered (GE) foods in California was introduced last week into the California senate. The bill is backed by the Center for Food Safety and other food safety and consumer advocates. It's sponsored by a coalition called Californians for GE Food Labeling. CFS west coast director Rebecca Spector said in a statement, "California consumers want the right to know what is in the food they eat, plain and simple. As a founding member of Californians for GE Food Labeling and lead authors of the legislation, we are proud to see our state legislators introduce this important bill." SB 1381 is a "simpler, cleaner" version of Prop 37, the proposed law that narrowly lost in election 2012. The No on Prop 37 group was heavily funded by large corporations such as … [Read more...]

Center for Food Safety Criticizes GMA GMO Labeling Block

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The Center for Food Safety is criticizing the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) for trying to block states from mandating labeling of genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GMO) foods. GMA just announced the formation of a group called "Coalition for Safe Affordable Food" that is comprised of chemical groups, big food corporations, and biotechnology lobbyists. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety (CFS) said in a statement, "these companies spent nearly $70 million in California and Washington state to defeat GE labeling initiatives. They know that the food movement's power is growing and that labeling is not a matter of 'if' but 'when'. These companies have failed to win over consumers who overwhelmingly support the mandatory labeling of … [Read more...]

Center For Food Safety Launches Campaign Against “Agent Orange” Crops

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The Center for Food Safety is launching a campaign to stop Dow Chemical's so-called "Agent Orange" GMO crops. The genetically engineered corn and soybeans resist 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide that is one half of the chemical Agent Orange that caused illness and death in Vietnam veterans. The campaign includes a petition to USDA and President Obama, a website, and a video. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of CFS said in a statement, "Dow Chemical has a long and troubling history selling dangerous chemicals and poisons, and now they are targeting our food supply. Monsanto isn't the only bad actor out there. Companies like Dow Chemical have gotten a free pass - but no longer. We are launching this campaign to give people the chance to fight back, to speak with one voice and stop Dow … [Read more...]

Groups Sue Canadian Government Over GE Salmon

GE-Salmon

Several consumer and food safety groups, including Ecology Action Centre, Ecojustice, and Living Oceans Society are challenging the Canadian government's approval of AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon. This new fish threatens native species, according to those groups. The lawsuit was filed today in Canadian court. Karen Wristen, Executive Director of the Living Oceans Society in B.C. said in a statement, "this is the world's first genetically modified food animal to go into production. This was done without any public debate at all and under circumstances that look like a deliberate attempt to prevent public comment. Canadians have a right to know about decisions like this in advance of them being made." AquaBounty is planning to grow the GE salmon eggs in Prince Edward … [Read more...]

Natural Label Should Not Include GMO Foods

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The Center for Food Safety has called on the FDA to not let GMO foods carry the "natural" label. The Grocery Manufacturer's Association has announced it would submit a petition to the government to define the term "natural" to include foods produced using genetic engineering. CFS is asking that the FDA exclude genetic engineering from any definition of "natural" and to not make any decisions without public input. Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs to Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "there is nothing natural about genetic engineering, which is exactly why the Grocery Manufacturers Association wants FDA to create a special exemption for it. Natural is a great marketing tool and the industry doesn't want to be restricted in using it." Genetic engineering is not a … [Read more...]

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